TRENDING STORIES

Book Extract: Dr. Habib Noorbhai’s Heart

Known for his pioneering work as a sports science researcher, Dr Habib Noorbhai, has released his very first book – Heart.

The book looks at the roots of Noorbhai’s life (who is now based in Cape Town) and how we all are provided with the same platform to evoke a sustainable and innovative difference in the lives of others but each and every one of us has a different path/journey.

Structured in three parts, Heart tackles the inferior vena cava (the root of his life) before delving into what he calls the superior vena cava (the meat of his career). The final instalment (the aorta) looks at the way forward for the current Mr South Africa and how one will find fulfilment from leading from the heart.

The book retails at R250 each and can be purchased in bookstores nationwide, Amazon, Kindle as well as via Habib’s website: http://www.habibnoorbhai.com

Here’s an extract for you to enjoy!

What is beauty and happiness?

Eyes are the best weapon.

It is the word beauty that creates the most controversy and disease in life.

It is the word – beauty – that changes a person’s life.

What is beauty?

Who is beauty?

Where is it found?

We all have our interpretation, and I will share mine. Beauty is something that we can see, we can hear, we can touch and think. It is universal. It is everywhere. We overlook and undermine it every day. You and I, we are all unique and beautiful in our way. The combination of our elements makes us who we are. We are beautiful but because we have symbols of beauty and what we should look like, our image is distorted, and that is where disease, unhappiness and depression, and even suicide comes in. We could answer these questions stated above simply.

Behind those eyes lie amazing and unimaginable experiences towards your life.

Beauty does not define who we are. Our characteristics don’t either, the intention does, and actions do. This is linked to beauty, inner beauty.

We get old – we lose our appearance, people get burnt, people get diseases. When they lose their physical appearance and beauty, then what? We leave that person because they no longer appeal to us? Yes, we need physical attraction, but it’s the heart that captures us eventually. It sounds strange, but it does happen. Those people go for what we call materialism. This leaves us with the question: What do you go for? The golden apple or just an apple?

The concept of hearing what we deserve – we hear it all the time. You deserve someone beautiful? Yes, from the heart or physically? If you don’t know; then your priorities are all wrong. You could choose both and wouldn’t even know it. Usually, the outside does not match the inside. The inside remains forever but not the outside; unless you are blessed with amazing genes. Regardless though, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

Behind those eyes, those hard yards walked, is the body with the heart and hands, doing good things, teaching it to others, helping others – like my mother. The true self lies in that which we never see in the people we come across on the street. So take the time to greet, smile at and get to know someone who interests you.

Go on blind dates. I have been on one before, but I’ll speak about relationships later. You will surprise yourself and others. Behind those eyes lie hurt and sorrow as well. Eyes can often be used in accordance with body language, to tell a person’s mood, as well as other techniques which should be a good reductionist.

Some search for economic wealth thinking that it brings happiness. These aspects are all related to happiness and intertwined. Some seek materialism, but in the end they find out too late that money doesn’t bring happiness nor does it do anything for you but help you to survive. Why should we worry about this big house and that fancy car?

Yes, it’s a personal achievement, but if your house had to burn down, you would only take your loved ones. That’s where the importance lies. We indebt ourselves buying the greatest of everything because others have it; it’s the latest must-have trends. These things bring temporary happiness but not emotional happiness; that happiness that makes you smile from within. Growing up, most of us didn’t have these luxuries and life was so much simpler.

Nowadays children know more than us about iPads, cell phones and various other technologies. Materialism. Our downfall. We never had these things because it was never a necessity. Getting our hands dirty and competing with who could get more plasters on their body was the “in thing”. This was the foundation of happiness, keeping it clean, yet real.

Sadly, materialism and greed lead to recession and rules the world where poverty is side-lined; where my heart crumbles. Life, in my opinion, is the success of all, and it is possible. But we don’t make it possible – because we simply don’t want to.

When we die we go with ourselves in whichever religion we believe or don’t believe in. The Egyptians believed in the afterlife and their coffins were lined with gold, and all their wealth was put in with them. Years later, the coffin is still gold, and the items are still there, but the bodies are not. Dawn to dusk; life to dust, and back to life again – resurrecting to the hereafter. A question I keep asking: do I chase the beauty and happiness of this world or the next?

Seeking materialism is a waste of time, money and effort, which can be invested elsewhere such as in your family or truly increasing your happiness and quality of life. Doing for others – that’s my calling, it makes me happy. It fills the soul with the sole.

Living in a big house may increase your quality of comfort but ultimately, family, love, support and taking care of yourself, increases the quality. It’s the simple things that count. Money may help the world go around but eating healthy increases our quality of life; the other things are luxuries. Is it toxic or sustainable?

Think about it.

We can have nothing but if we have good hearts and intentions, and if we believe in God, God gives and provides and He takes away. If you don’t believe in God, I have nothing against you, but you may believe in a divine spirit or energy.

Nothing guarantees you anything, but it does improve the quality of your being. Some are blessed on this earth. I am very happy for them, and actually, exceptionally proud. But I believe the blessed should aim for the hereafter. It’s not how much they earn or have. It’s what they do with that wealth that counts.

We shouldn’t be getting awards for helping out when this is what we as human beings should be doing as our duty; or more mildly – our moral code. That’s what humanitarianism or philanthropy does to us – it enhances our moral code. Our hearts are beautiful and will never change metaphorically but physically they will with age. They remain forever; they have a beat for a reason, and the beating frequencies alter for a reason. Physical, outer beauty does not last except in those rare cases without interference cosmetically. We will all grow old, it is inevitable.

Death is inevitable as well – accept it.

Make-up is another story. Why? Tell me why? Yes, it enhances your features but not when one can literally scrape off the make-up. I will never understand why those that don’t need the make-up overdo it. I never wear make-up – even for photo shoots or being on camera, purely because my skin is also sensitive to it. My scars tell a story. It has a history. Why should I hide it? Be authentic. Be real.

How one looks does not define nor carry one’s worth. It is something which is very different for all and not important. Yet many behave as though it holds more value than the inside, especially when it comes to choosing spouses. People are degraded when they don’t look a certain way: fair skin, green eyes, tall? I hate it!

Who says that physical beauty makes us different from one another? “You sure you want to wake up the next morning sleeping next to one minute past midnight?” Racist, inappropriate and ignorant. My response: “It may be one minute or even 10 minutes past midnight, but if the heart is pure and light, then I wouldn’t only want to wake up next to that person but also watch her sleep”.

If it’s your preference, I respect it but don’t degrade that person to the rest of us. Your parents want the best for you, and you deserve this emotionally but not physically. You ultimately know what’s good for you, which is what appeals to you and what makes you happy.

Beauty cannot be seen, heard or touched. Beauty can only be felt as it is within the heart. We can’t see it as the measure of beauty is not possible. God alone is the sole judge and knows how beautiful you truly are; no award can determine your beauty.

No one can judge you because they don’t know what beauty is, or what your journey is. We have society’s interpretation, and then we have our own. All these images of what is perfect come back to the question: what is beauty?

We all have opinions. Some may agree with others, but at the end of the day, we will never know. Perfection does not exist. I don’t even know why the word was invented. How can we describe heaven and hell then when we don’t even know the truth? The human being is fooled, and we are gullible. It’s the beauty of the unknown.

Just like the heart, it is a beautiful yet unknown place. Don’t reject the heart because its outer shell has added layers of subcutaneous adipose tissue or a different shade of earth sand. Beauty is in the heart, and no one can tell you if you are beautiful or not. If they do, for whatever their reason is, say: “Thank you. You are just as beautiful because you identified something beautiful in me.”

I will share a story; beauty comes from within, and you will only feel it when you believe that you are beautiful, and unfortunately, that only comes with heartache and time. You can’t be something you are not; you can only be you. People have different ideas of beauty, and if you conform to it, you will miss the beauty of yourself.

Materialism is relative. Humility is rare. A good example of this, of those who have it all, was the late Princess Diana, and now Princes William and Harry. They say change if you don’t like what you see in the mirror. There is nothing wrong with that, but the problem arises when it takes over our lives, and that is not what life is about. Who are we? We are beautiful in our special way, which no one can touch or see but only marvel at.

This is a new concept brought about by the evolution of man. The luxuries in those days were eating a good meal, while these days it’s the house you live in or that fancy car you drive. When you focus on these things, you miss out on life, you truly do. Don’t let life pass you by, waking up early to get to a sale of your favourite fashion brand, or even spending a whole day choosing a car. At the end of the day, you leave with nothing in this world. We all get driven in the a hearse to the grave. Mind you, the life in the grave is a lot longer, without any worldly pleasures. You just take your good deeds with, nothing else.

It is your being and heart that is important, cherish those and beautify them.

Do for others; we are all equal. No one says you cannot reward yourself but there are limits, and that comes when the time could be spent more wisely doing something else. Your life must be productive for the right reasons. The concept of a wedding being so extravagant these days and putting yourself in debt is beyond human understanding. There is nothing wrong with celebrating the day, but celebrate it for the right reasons, most especially for love and families coming together. Instead of having a reception, feed a community with your bride/husband. This is something I want to do one day!

I envision a 10- or 20-person wedding, including the bride, groom, five family members each, and done. Then take all of them with to the community and feed them, sustainably. Try it, and you will have more money and time, less stress and more time to spend with those who matter most. Hell, why not just get married, travel the world and then return to your lives.

Don’t even post on social media – it has taken over our beautiful lives! Although each of us will have varied reasons for using it, we must try to use it for the right reasons. Life moments are so precious, and many people don’t get the chance to experience them because of stress and work. We only realise when it’s too late, ‘you only know you love her/him when you let her/him go’. Well, it can be generalised to all situations; for anyone.

Happiness is underrated and overlooked. It is the answer to everything, spiritual and health-wise. If we are happy, then everything is positive in our lives even when things are not great. It is the happiness that keeps us going. Happiness comes in many forms, but the truly special one that gives us long life is the happiness felt from love. Love from family and the all-important love from that special one.

I will finish this chapter off with a short story.

Beauty lies in the eyes of skinny jeans.

No, really.

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, so they say. We are only human and can only be ourselves, yet we want to be other people. People write about this everywhere and the influence of what beauty is, is overrated. Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but saying this, doesn’t make it any easier to accept it.

For years I was told I was ugly and I believed those who told me this because I measured beauty on others, by their status in the limelight. That popularity told me that they were beautiful, and they always got what they wanted. When I started realising what I wanted, then I saw beauty.

Beauty is in the heart. It is something that is never seen and can never be judged. Beauty on the outside, now that’s great, but hey, that’s just your genetic makeup. That is what you were entitled to. The essence of your heart, on the other hand, is not part of your genetic makeup, and that I believe, determines the nature of a person. The heart of a person, mind you, is not static and it can change for better or for worse. When it is in the true and sincere position, then beauty shines throughout your whole body regardless of whether your features are complementary or not.

Who am I to judge? Think for yourselves, am I beautiful or just in it for the ride? We all want more than what life gives us, but we fail to realise that we make our lives what they are based on the nature of our hearts. The outcome is present, but the road we take is of utmost importance.

The road less taken is shunned by others and the courage to rise above also makes us beautiful. What is beauty anyway? Eye colour, if one can fit into those skinny jeans, if you can get any partner you want, if you succeed in life, if you perm your hair a certain way? Who knows! But our hearts have the answer.

Am I beautiful? Maybe, I just have almond shaped eyes that complement my face yet I have a crooked tooth that some would say is unpleasant. The meaning of beauty will always differ from person to person, and we will never know who is beautiful as it lies in that person’s heart and in the people that benefit from the person’s existence.

About Indianspice Staff Reporter

Report and write stories for Indianspice.co.za. It is our ambitious goal to cover issues/events/news concerning South Africa and the diaspora.